I find birthers and the huge media sales devoted to promoting birthers disgusting and shameful and wrong, as individuals, but it occurs to me that this insanity does more than hurt my feelings. It distracts. Maybe deliberately, maybe inadvertently, I don’t know, and honestly, I no longer care. I don’t have time to parse the political or financial motives of the soul-dead zombies pushing this garbage.
Know this: Paul Ryan is proposing to radically change the health care system. Because Paul Ryan isn’t just waving around a budget, he’s laid out the Paul Ryan Health Care Plan, and, incredibly, no one noticed.
This is a radical restructuring of the whole health care system, much more radical than the PPACA. The PPACA doesn’t gut Medicare, Medicaid and S-CHIP and the Paul Ryan Health Care Plan does. With huge changes in those four programs, we’re talking about millions of people.
Further, these huge changes in Medicare and Medicaid and S-CHIP
will be felt by every single person in the country, because the programs he’s gutting are so big that this will be felt throughout the whole system. Health care is a system that developed over time. It doesn’t work, and it costs too much and it doesn’t serve anyone well, but it’s an existing system, and the pieces interlock.
The Paul Ryan Health Care Plan radically transforms Medicare and Medicaid and S-CHIP and each and every one of us will be dealing with the consequences.
So, Paul Ryan proposes to change the entire US existing health care system, much more dramatically than President Obama and the Democrats ever dreamed of doing, and media go running off after Donald Trump. It’s mind-boggling, when you think about it.
Here are the basics on Paul Ryan’s Health Care Plan. The first part is a brief run-down of the programs that would undergo huge changes in the Paul Ryan Health Care Plan:
On April 5, 2011, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, released a budget proposal, entitled The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise, which reduces federal spending over the long term.
The proposal is projected to achieve a federal budget surplus by 2040, and would substantially reduce federal spending on major health programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Exchange subsidies by 2022. The proposal would reduce the growth in Medicare spending by capping the growth in expenditures per enrollee, converting Medicare from a defined benefit plan to a system of defined “premium support” payments, and by gradually raising the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67, beginning in 2022. The proposal would also repeal specified provisions of the 2010 health reform law. It would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and provisions to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap (the “doughnut hole”) by 2020.
This part is just the intro to the Medicare changes:
The proposal would gradually transform Medicare into what is described as a “premium support system.” Beginning in 2022, all newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries (i.e., individuals turning 65 as well as younger, disabled individuals becoming eligible for Medicare) would only have access to health coverage through private insurance plans, rather than through the current government-run Medicare program (i.e., traditional Medicare), or under a Medicare Advantage plan.
Under the new premium support system, Medicare beneficiaries would be entitled to a payment from the federal government to help defray premiums and other health care costs under the plan. The government would make payments directly to private health plans on behalf of Medicare-eligible enrollees, rather than pay hospitals, physicians, and other medical providers directly for the services provided to their Medicare-eligible patients, as is currently the case. If the government payments to plans on behalf of enrollees were insufficient to cover premiums and/or other costs, beneficiaries would be responsible for additional costs. In other words, Medicare would no longer provide coverage for medical care, but instead provide a “subsidy” toward the purchase of a private health insurance plan.
Discuss. We’ll look in detail at the other massive changes that The Paul Ryan Health Care Plan would entail at a later date, because it looks like we’re on our own here.